Rotherham United

Ground No. 50
Visited - Saturday 13th November 2004
Result - Rotherham United 1-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Competition - Coca Cola Championship
Attendance - 6,693

This was one of the grounds that I had had ample opportunity to visit before, but for one reason or another had never been to. Grounds in the Championship are often compared to Millmoor, with this ground normally receiving the bad end of the comparison, so I started the journey not knowing what to expect, but looking forward to getting another ground under the belt, despite the ominous fact that Rotherham were still yet to win a game, so of course it would be inevitable that we would lose to them!

We caught the train up there, and after a couple of brief changes at Birmingham and Sheffield, arrived into Rotherham at about 1:30pm. As well as reports of the ground being bad, I'd heard many damning things about the town as well, so was pleasantly surprised whilst having a quick walk around to see it wasn’t that bad at all really, although its never going to be the best town in the world, it’s a nice enough place and all the people seemed friendly, which is always good.

After getting a bite to eat, we started to walk down to the ground, arriving there with little difficulty, having the big old floodlights standing above everything around, guiding us like a spire to a church. Once at the ground, and walking around the outside, its easy to realise why it has a poor reputation, with the exterior not exactly being the most awe-inspiring of the 92 grounds in the country. A quick trip into the club shop, we then walked down the notoriously small alley to the away fans entrance, and went into the ground, finding our seats.

To our left was the Main Stand, which has two tiers covered by a large roof, and ran from our end to about the half way line, before a small single tiered stand about half its size went up to the opposite end. Behind the smaller bit were portacabins, which acted as makeshift executive boxes. Opposite us was the Tivoli End which was quite an attractive stand, small, but with a sloping roof covering the seats, the supporting pillars helping give it character, then to our right was a mismatch of stands, near the Tivoli End there was a small, uncovered area of seating, which ran for a third of the length of the pitch. Next to that was what is probably the oldest part of that side of the ground, a small, all-seated stand that has a sloping roof with many pillars, and again ran for about a third of the pitch, but this time straddling the halfway line. The last third nearest our end was another area for Wolves fans, and looked comparatively modern, with a seating area slightly bigger than the other two parts of the stand(s), and having a roof that didn’t slope, but still contained a few supporting pillars. The final part of Millmoor, The Railway End was where the majority of the Wolves fan were, and was a former terrace with seats added. It had a low roof, with a couple more pillars and the facilities were pretty basic, with the toilets and food outlets being outside the back of the stand, which you had to pass before going in to the seats. The good thing about this stand was that a lot of noise could be made, however the bad thing was that the height between rows was minimal, meaning a pretty poor view.

After getting some pictures (which came out very poor) the game started and we were easily the best, going close on quite a few occasions, causing the Rotherham defence no end of problems. They had a few breaks, but were mainly limited to just that, until against the run of play they scored with a free header from a good cross. Bottom of the table, without a win in 18 games and of course they had taken the lead against us, it was the Gillingham disaster from a few games previously all over again, and despite having been on top before the goal, the Wolves players seemed to realise this, and their heads dropped with Rotherham commanding the rest of the half, and looking good for their first win, even at the half way stage.

After the break they came out buoyed from the finish to the first half, and again took control, with us being limited to a few breakaways. They should have been 2-0 up as well, but one of their strikers hit an easy chance wide. After a substitution of the ineffective Newton going off for Korean forward Seol, he made an instance difference and we started to play as we're capable of doing so. On 69 minutes, Kevin Cooper got the ball and took it inside from the right. With no one closing him down, he shaped up for the shot, before hitting it from all of 35 yards straight into the centre of the goal giving the keeper no chance. With that we were on the up, and took the game to the home side. 10 minutes later we were in the lead after Seol had beaten his man, to put a great cross into the box where Carl Cort had an easy chance to tap it in. We kept most of the possession for the rest of the game, and the result was never in doubt after that, much to the delight of the travelling fans.

After staying to take some more pictures, we left the ground and walked back to the station. As expected there was no trouble, the home fans had been pretty quiet all afternoon, and after the equaliser went in seemed rejected to defeat, you could certainly see why they haven't won all year, and are looking like they will probably go down. Once at the station waiting for the train, we met the person who printed their team sheets, and he was giving them away, so I managed to get one of them to go with the programme! The journey back wasn’t too bad, and we got home without too many problems, despite a delayed train from Sheffield.

Overall it was a good trip, nice to win away, which unfortunately doesn’t happen too often, but it was a nice ground to visit. The away end, despite offering a poor view, really takes you back in time. We all stood throughout, and despite the seats, I actually ended up being about 10 seats to the right of where my ticket was, just like on a terrace! Also with the low roof meaning you can get a good atmosphere going, it's not too bad a ground to visit, and certainly doesn’t deserve its bad reputation. I'd much rather go to Millmoor than grounds like the Madejski Stadium, so I'll certainly look forward to going back there one of the days. 

Rear of the Main Stand

Rear of the Tivoli End

The Clubshop

The Alley behind the Millmoor Lane Stand

The Main Stand

The Tivoli End

The Millmoor Lane Stand

The Railway End

The Millmoor Lane Stand

The Tivoli End

The Main Stand

August 2008

Following a disagreement over rent with the owners of the ground, in the summer of 2008 the club were forced to leave their home of 101 years and move to the nearby Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield. Whilst visiting there, I took the chance to look in at Millmoor. Unfortunately the ground is all boarded up now. Since I last came the club had knocked down the Main Stand and started to build a new, modern replacement, but after years of wrangling it was never to be completed and just a steel structure remains now. It's unclear what will happen with the ground, whether the club will eventually reach an agreement and return home, or whether it will end up as houses or other use. In the meantime, these pictures are from August 2008, unfortunately access inside proved impossible. 

Welcome to Millmoor

Looking down Millmoor Lane

Millmoor Lane

One of the Floodlights
The tallest left in the country before the club left the ground

The Club Shop

Outside the Tivoli End

The Unfinished Main Stand


1 comment:

  1. yes the old lady is sadly left now to either crumble into decay or used as an extension of the booths scrap empire,sad as it was to leave we now have the amazing new york stadium to call home and we look forward to making new memories and friends at our amazing new home , thankyou Mr stewart.